New rule to cities: Ease car shar­ing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By LUO WANGSHU lu­owang­shu @chi­

City gov­ern­ments and pri­vate prop­erty man­agers have been en­cour­aged to cut park­ing fees and even al­lo­cate free spa­ces for shared cars as a way to pro­mote the nascent busi­ness.

Sim­i­lar to the model used for shared bikes, mo­torists can now rent cars parked in pub­lic ar­eas sim­ply by scan­ning a QR code us­ing a smart­phone app.

Last year, dozens of car­shar­ing en­ter­prises op­er­ated more than 26,000 ve­hi­cles in China, ac­cord­ing to con­sul­tancy firm Roland Berger, which es­ti­mates the num­ber will hit 600,000 by 2025.

To help the sec­tor flour­ish, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties should ease park­ing charges, while shop­ping malls, res­i­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties and other ar­eas should set aside spa­ces for th­ese ve­hi­cles, ac­cord­ing to a cen­tral govern­ment guide­line re­leased on Tues­day.

Car-shar­ing com­pa­nies also were urged to im­prove their ser­vices on­line and off­line, as well as to use new en­ergy ve­hi­cles, with charg­ing fa­cil­i­ties in­stalled close to des­ig­nated park­ing ar­eas.

The guide­line, which cov­ers the en­tire car rental in­dus­try, was is­sued by the Min­istry of Trans­port and the Min­istry of Hous­ing and Ur­ban-Ru­ral Devel­op­ment. It aims to pro­tect cus­tomers’ rights, im­prove car rental ser­vices and traf­fic net­works, and pro­mote the in­dus­try’s healthy devel­op­ment.

“The car rental busi­ness has been well-de­vel­oped in China for a long time. How­ever, along with the in­no­va­tion of tech­nol­ogy and ser­vices, the guide­line also solves some of the dif­fi­cul­ties of the car-shar­ing busi­ness,” said Li Yanxia, an as­so­ci­ate re­searcher of the China Academy of Trans­porta­tion Sciences.

She said the na­tional guide­line en­cour­ages city au­thor­i­ties to draw up more de­tailed plans based on lo­cal con­di­tions.

Since the first car rental com­pa­nies es­tab­lished in China in 1989, the in­dus­try has grown to more than 6,300 com­pa­nies, ac­cord­ing to the Trans­port Min­istry.

The num­ber has in­creased by 20 per­cent each year. But 93 per­cent of car rental com­pa­nies own fewer than 50 cars. The mar­ket lead­ers, such as Shen­zhou Zuche and eHi, ac­count for 20 per­cent of the mar­ket, fig­ures from the min­istry show.

Un­like tra­di­tional car rental ser­vices, car-shar­ing ser­vices take ad­van­tage of mod­ern tech­nolo­gies such as GPS and mo­bile in­ter­net.

Such ser­vices im­prove user ex­pe­ri­ence and of­fer an alternative for ur­ban com­mut­ing, eas­ing grow­ing de­mand for pri­vate cars and park­ing space, the guide­line said.

The guide­line also solves some of the dif­fi­cul­ties of the car-shar­ing busi­ness.” Li Yanxia, an as­so­ci­ate re­searcher at the China Academy of Trans­porta­tion Sciences

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